As we talk about the importance of consent in the public discourse, upholding the right to say what is and isn’t violence must take precedence over our own discomfort about someone else’s choices.
In fall of 2013, the State of New York established the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts to change the way courts handled those arrested for prostitution. But I know firsthand that using this model can still cause violence to sex workers, because we don’t need treatment.
When law enforcement targets sex workers and the websites they use, mainstream outlets and organizations tend to give them a pass. But with the raid on Rentboy.com, that script has flipped.
The much-ballyhooed bipartisan bill has provisions that alarm civil liberties and victims’ advocates.
Why are researchers only just beginning to recognize the connection between the decriminalization of sex work and HIV? And why is the trend toward criminalizing populations involved in the sex trades increasing in the United States—moving in the opposite direction from other countries?
Many advocates have understandably focused on the Supreme Court in recent weeks. But what gets lost in that focus are the stories that show the right to basic bodily autonomy is at stake for sex workers, trans people of color, and those who are disproportionately incarcerated.
“End demand” campaigns, like the one suggested in a recent RH Reality Check commentary, are based on the false characterization of clients of sex workers as rapists, and perpetuated by the prostitution-as-violence camp. This is nothing but misogyny, pure and simple.
In the wake of public pressure and impending legislative action, the NYPD has finally changed its policy of allowing officers to seize condoms as evidence of prostitution. But the revised policy contains a loophole that advocates fear will continue to inhibit condom use.
Police in Hawaii successfully lobbied house lawmakers to leave in place a decades-old provision that allows officers to have sex with prostitutes, arguing that the measure is necessary for them to catch individuals who are breaking the law. Critics, however, call it an invitation for misconduct.
A decision from Arkansas reinforces fetal viability as a constitutional bright line for abortion restrictions, even as more early abortion bans pass in the states.